“How are the two female protagonists Offred from “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Magaret Atwood and Celie from “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker oppressed by men, in what ways are their situations similar and how do they deal with the pressure and abuse?”
The purpose of this essay is to look at how the two protagonist women, Offred from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Celie from “The Color Purple” are treated in literature. This essay aims to answer the question: “How are the two protagonist women Offred from “The handmaid’s tale” and Celie from “The Color Purple” oppressed by the circumstances, the society they live in and the men in their lives and in what ways are their situations are similar?”, focusing on the similarities between their situations and how they deal with the pressure and abuse. Both authors are particularly strong women in literature who write about the oppression of two women within society. The two protagonist women, Offred and Celie, were selected because they live within similar circumstances in which they are subjugated and abused by men. The situations of the two women will be examined, compared and contrasted. The conclusion I arrived at, is that both female protagonist women suffer from oppression and abuse by the men in their lives. The two women suffer from the subjugation and live within similar circumstances in which they are exploited by their functions, surroundings and their situation. Even though both women face many difficulties and struggle to emerge as women, they grow stronger and gain strength in their lives throughout time. Research was carried out on the internet, through literary study guides and other people’s literary criticisms. The other people’s literary criticisms were not particularly useful, since they did not concentrate on the protagonists situation and oppression, but focused merely on how the literary works could be examined and interpreted and what the author’s intentions were. However, what I found out how both protagonists were treated within their society and how they developed over time. Both women were very resourceful, they showed inner strength, becoming independent and stronger and gaining strength in their lives. Word count: 297
Research Question….pg. 4
Main Body…………pg. 4 – 12
Research Question: How are the two female protagonists Offred from “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Magaret Atwood and Celie from “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker oppressed by men, in what ways are their situations similar and how do they deal with the pressure and abuse? Throughout history, women have tried to oppose the male-dominated world and aimed to gain control, respect and social authority. Women were often ranked inferior to men; legal, political and social rights were restricted and controlled at the beginning of the century. It was forbidden for women to vote or to have political or social influence. They were excluded from any form of education and had hardly any rights over their personal belongings, they were expected to work at home and take care of the children. This literary essay will deal with the two books “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Magaret Atwood and “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. It will focus on how Offred from “The handmaid’s tale” and Celie from “The Color Purple” are oppressed by men and in what ways their situations are similar. It will also discuss how the two women dealt with the pressure and abuse. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker is considered controversial in the way Celie as a woman is presented in the novel. Some have argued that it is about revenge and struggle, or a novel exploring protest against oppression. Celie is the victim of violence and powerlessness at the beginning of the novel and feels the only person she can talk to is God; it is through her letters to him that we learn about her life and her situation. When Celie’s mother becomes ill, Celie is set to take...
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Tolan, Fiona. Margaret Atwood: Feminism and fiction. Amsterdam; Rodopi, 2007.Johnson, Yvonne. The voices of African American Women. New York; Lang cop, 1998
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